Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Great Schism

J. McCabe, Saints. From Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Schism, The Great. The Popes were brought back to Rome from their luxurious and vicious court at Avignon [see], not by a neurotic nun, as Catholics represent, but by the threat of the Romans to repudiate their allegiance, as they had often done. All Italy was making progress except Rome, where sheep browsed on the streets and even in the old St. Peter's (Gregorovius). Gregory XI returned in 1376, and died two years later, and in the fierce Conclave that followed, when the Archbishop of Bari bribed the Italian cardinals and became Urban VI, the French cardinals seceded and set up the anti-Pope Clement VII - a French cardinal who, as commander of the Papal troops, was notorious for outrages. Both men were unprincipled and fought for the position of Pope with real brutality. We have a record of the struggle (On the Schism) written by the contemporary Papal lawyer, Dietrich von Neheim, a very reliable witness. Urban chased his rival out of Italy, but he was himself driven out of Naples for protecting the foul deeds of his nephew. In his rage, which often verged on insanity, he tortured six of the cardinals and apparently had them murdered. He was "according to many accounts poisoned by the Romans" (Catholic Encyclopaedia) in 1389, and Clement died five years later. But two other Popes, of the same miserable character, were elected, and the sordid struggle went on. The practice of simony, was now carried to its greatest height, and the disorder of Rome was appalling. The Jubilee year [see], a centennial celebration, had been founded in 1300, but the greedy Roman Pope now declared that it must be held every thirty-three years, as Christ had lived for that period, and lady-pilgrims from foreign lands were robbed and raped right up to the doors of St. Peter's. Boniface IX, Dietrich says, turned a Neapolitan ex-pirate into a cardinal and head of his Court and set him to get money by every means, even taxing the gamblers and prostitutes. This man, an expert in every vice and crime, himself bought the Papacy [see John XXIII], and there were now three Popes and a more sordid spectacle than ever. The schism had lasted nearly forty years, when the Church induced the Emperor Sigismund, a pious and very lecherous monarch, to put an end to it, in 1414, at the Council of Constance [see], which was unofficially attended also by 1,000 prostitutes, who doubtless assisted at the burning of the wicked John Hus [see] . Dietrich's work De Schismate, and his life of John XXIII, are not available in English, as usual, and thus the myth that in the thirteenth century the Papacy had raised civilization to its greatest height is protected.


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Scanning, HTML Rae West. First upload 2013-08-27.